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Neural mechanisms of ageing and cognitive decline

Nature volume 464, pages 529535 (25 March 2010) | Download Citation

Abstract

During the past century, treatments for the diseases of youth and middle age have helped raise life expectancy significantly. However, cognitive decline has emerged as one of the greatest health threats of old age, with nearly 50% of adults over the age of 85 afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Developing therapeutic interventions for such conditions demands a greater understanding of the processes underlying normal and pathological brain ageing. Recent advances in the biology of ageing in model organisms, together with molecular and systems-level studies of the brain, are beginning to shed light on these mechanisms and their potential roles in cognitive decline.

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Acknowledgements

We apologize for the many studies and references that could not be included owing to space limitations. Our work is supported by the National Institute on Aging of the US National Institutes of Health, the Ellison Medical Foundation and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Nicholas A. Bishop
    • , Tao Lu
    •  & Bruce A. Yankner

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Reprints and permissions information is available at http://www.nature.com/reprints. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Correspondence should be addressed to B.A.Y. (bruce_yankner@hms.harvard.edu).

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